In an effort to promote research, development and innovation of solar-related technologies within desert climates, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), one of Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) national research institutes, has launched the QEERI Solar Consortium - a membership-based program for research, testing and demonstration of groundbreaking solar-energy technologies. QEERI Solar Consortium brings together researchers, engineers, technology producers, project developers and local authorities from the solar energy field, to shape a common focus on practical tests of solar-based devices and systems within Qatar’s desert environment.
The program’s inaugural meeting, which was held at the QEERI Offices, was attended by the Consortium’s board members including the Director of Energy Affairs Department of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Sheikh Mishal Jabor Al-Thani; Manager of Conservation & Energy Efficiency at Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation “KAHRAMAA”, Eng. Abdul Aziz Al-Hammadi; QEERI Executive Director, Dr Marc Vermeersch; Senior Research Director for Energy at QEERI and Chair of the Consortium, Dr Veronica Bermudez Benito; and several global industry leaders.
The meeting discussed the QEERI Solar Consortium’s operations strategy, which aims to demonstrate, validate and accelerate the development of solar-energy technologies suited to desert climates. The members of the Consortium will have access to field test data of reference technologies as well as advanced industrial laboratory capabilities, in order to conduct research for the development of the industry. The Solar Consortium will contribute to drive research, development, and innovation efforts to address main industry challenges in the solar-energy sector. The members will contribute to it by defining research on technical issues of common interest to accelerate the development and deployment of solar energy in Qatar, whilst positioning the nation as a leading example in solar-research within desert-conditions.
Commenting on the successful launch of the Consortium, Dr Bermudez said: “One of QEERI’s primary goals is to assist in overcoming Qatar’s Grand Challenges in relation to energy security. To that effect, we do extensive work in the field of solar energy and its integration within the broader global energy system. There are many challenges that are specific to the country such as its desert climate that is characterized by extreme temperature conditions, as well as specific dust and atmospheric features including soiling. Building a solid understanding of the reliability and degradation pathways is a key component for the future economic competitiveness of solar technologies.”
“We believe that by bringing together stakeholders, researchers, industry players and authorities onto a common platform, under the strong leadership of QEERI - with a view to the Institute’s the strong indoor testing capabilities and powerful characterization competences, we will be able to address these challenges and work towards our shared goals most efficiently,” she concluded.
Sheikh Mishal Jabor Al Thani added: “Qatar is well on its path to diversifying its energy mix, which will in turn have a positive impact on the country’s economy. In coming days, it is institutes like QEERI and its newly-launched Solar Consortium who will play a key role in providing the scientific research and development data we need to fuel the engines of our economy with renewable and sustainable energy. We are confident that the expertise and commitment of QEERI’s scientists to innovation will help guide future policy-making as well as accelerate the country’s capability for the large-scale deployment of solar power, allowing us to preserve our environment and natural resources for future generations.”
The members will get exclusive access to confidential data and research in relation to their own products; all research outputs will be a product of QEERI’s world-class facilities such as the Solar Test Facility, an impressive 35,000-square meter test site located at Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Membership to the Consortium is open to both organizations and authorities in the field of solar energy within Qatar, the wider region and internationally. For more information on membership requirements, please contact .